Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket ... See full summary »
Henry Hobson runs a successful bootmaker's shop in nineteenth-century Salford. A widower with a weakness for the pub opposite, he tries forcefully to run the lives of his three unruly ... See full summary »
Brenda de Banzie
Noel Coward's attempt to show how the ordinary people lived between the wars. Just after WWI the Gibbons family moves to a nice house in the suburbs. An ordinary sort of life is led by the ... See full summary »
Oliver's mother, a penniless outcast, died giving birth to him. As a young boy Oliver is brought up in a workhouse, later apprenticed to an uncaring undertaker, and eventually is taken in ... See full summary »
James A. Marcus,
Based on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist is about an orphan boy who runs away from a workhouse and meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. Oliver is taken in by the pickpocket and he joins a household of young boys who are trained to steal for their master. This version of Oliver Twist is topped by Alec Guinness's masterly performance of arch-thug Fagin. Written by
Jenny Evans <J.Evans@uts.edu.au>
David Lean's adaptation of "Oliver Twist" is the perfect screen version of a wonderful novel. Dickens' world comes alive through the acting, writing, and settings, making it not only a faithful realization of the atmosphere of the original, but also a joy to watch. The story of the young orphan Oliver, caught among a band of thieves while longing for a home of his own, is one of Dickens' most melodramatic, a story that loses all effectiveness and believability if not told with great skill. Dickens' own great writing made the original succeed, and this screen version succeeds because it too is done masterfully.
While some details have been necessarily changed for cinematic purposes, the world of the film is all Dickens. The acting in this film is wonderful - the actors are true Dickens characters, from Robert Newton (Sikes), Alec Guinness (with some wild make-up, as Fagin), and young John Howard Davies (Oliver), to all of the minor roles. They are all just slightly exaggerated, which makes them perfect renderings of the way that Dickens designed his characters. The settings are also perfect, from the bleak workhouse at the beginning to the labyrinth of decrepit rooms and passageways where Fagin's gang hides out.
Those who love old-fashioned stories like "Oliver Twist" will find this movie to be a perfect realization of the world of the original novel. It is a memorable and enjoyable film.
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